Chiefs, including NPCC Chair Sara Thornton have reacted with anger to reports at the Police Federation conference that an unnamed Chief Officer dismissed mental health concerns at a staff briefing stating that he ‘did not want to hear’ about mental health issues.
She said the service is addressing welfare issues but there needs to be a “more honest debate with the public about some of the things that people cherish which are just no longer affordable”.
“It’s about line management, peer support and good occupational help. I think we are beginning to address that stigma around mental health,” she added.
“With policing, we have a ‘be strong’ culture. That it is weak to show frailty, that it’s weak to explain and share your concerns, and we need to tackle that. It is not weak. It is the way for us to be a healthy organisation.
“Of the 63 per cent of those who had been helped for mental wellbeing issues and had informed their line managers, three-quarters of them thought the line manager responded well and treated them with dignity and respect. There is still some way to go, but I think we are making progress.”
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Police chiefs were encouraged at the conference to spend more money on protecting the wellbeing of their officers by a medically retired ex-officer from North Yorkshire, who stood up to talk about the turmoil he went through before his depression was identified.
Read more about this on the Police Federation website.